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Title: Responses of tundra soil microbial communities to half a decade of experimental warming at two critical depths

Abstract

Northern-latitude tundra soils harbor substantial carbon (C) stocks that are highly susceptible to microbial degradation with rising global temperatures. Understanding the magnitude and direction (e.g., C release or sequestration) of the microbial responses to warming is necessary to accurately model climate change. In this study, Alaskan tundra soils were subjected to experimental in situ warming by ∼1.1 °C above ambient temperature, and the microbial communities were evaluated using metagenomics after 4.5 years, at 2 depths: 15 to 25 cm (active layer at outset of the experiment) and 45 to 55 cm (transition zone at the permafrost/active layer boundary at the outset of the experiment). In contrast to small or insignificant shifts after 1.5 years of warming, 4.5 years of warming resulted in significant changes to the abundances of functional traits and the corresponding taxa relative to control plots (no warming), and microbial shifts differed qualitatively between the two soil depths. At 15 to 25 cm, increased abundances of carbohydrate utilization genes were observed that correlated with (increased) measured ecosystem carbon respiration. At the 45- to 55-cm layer, increased methanogenesis potential was observed, which corresponded with a 3-fold increase in abundance of a single archaeal clade of the Methanosarcinales order, increasedmore » annual thaw duration (45.3 vs. 79.3 days), and increased CH 4 emissions. Collectively, these data demonstrate that the microbial responses to warming in tundra soil are rapid and markedly different between the 2 critical soil layers evaluated, and identify potential biomarkers for the corresponding microbial processes that could be important in modeling.« less

Authors:
; ; ; ; ORCiD logo; ; ORCiD logo; ORCiD logo; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC)
OSTI Identifier:
1532551
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1561933
Grant/Contract Number:  
SC0004601; AC02-05CH11231
Resource Type:
Published Article
Journal Name:
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America Journal Volume: 116 Journal Issue: 30; Journal ID: ISSN 0027-8424
Publisher:
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; 59 BASIC BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES

Citation Formats

Johnston, Eric R., Hatt, Janet K., He, Zhili, Wu, Liyou, Guo, Xue, Luo, Yiqi, Schuur, Edward A. G., Tiedje, James M., Zhou, Jizhong, and Konstantinidis, Konstantinos T. Responses of tundra soil microbial communities to half a decade of experimental warming at two critical depths. United States: N. p., 2019. Web. doi:10.1073/pnas.1901307116.
Johnston, Eric R., Hatt, Janet K., He, Zhili, Wu, Liyou, Guo, Xue, Luo, Yiqi, Schuur, Edward A. G., Tiedje, James M., Zhou, Jizhong, & Konstantinidis, Konstantinos T. Responses of tundra soil microbial communities to half a decade of experimental warming at two critical depths. United States. doi:10.1073/pnas.1901307116.
Johnston, Eric R., Hatt, Janet K., He, Zhili, Wu, Liyou, Guo, Xue, Luo, Yiqi, Schuur, Edward A. G., Tiedje, James M., Zhou, Jizhong, and Konstantinidis, Konstantinos T. Mon . "Responses of tundra soil microbial communities to half a decade of experimental warming at two critical depths". United States. doi:10.1073/pnas.1901307116.
@article{osti_1532551,
title = {Responses of tundra soil microbial communities to half a decade of experimental warming at two critical depths},
author = {Johnston, Eric R. and Hatt, Janet K. and He, Zhili and Wu, Liyou and Guo, Xue and Luo, Yiqi and Schuur, Edward A. G. and Tiedje, James M. and Zhou, Jizhong and Konstantinidis, Konstantinos T.},
abstractNote = {Northern-latitude tundra soils harbor substantial carbon (C) stocks that are highly susceptible to microbial degradation with rising global temperatures. Understanding the magnitude and direction (e.g., C release or sequestration) of the microbial responses to warming is necessary to accurately model climate change. In this study, Alaskan tundra soils were subjected to experimental in situ warming by ∼1.1 °C above ambient temperature, and the microbial communities were evaluated using metagenomics after 4.5 years, at 2 depths: 15 to 25 cm (active layer at outset of the experiment) and 45 to 55 cm (transition zone at the permafrost/active layer boundary at the outset of the experiment). In contrast to small or insignificant shifts after 1.5 years of warming, 4.5 years of warming resulted in significant changes to the abundances of functional traits and the corresponding taxa relative to control plots (no warming), and microbial shifts differed qualitatively between the two soil depths. At 15 to 25 cm, increased abundances of carbohydrate utilization genes were observed that correlated with (increased) measured ecosystem carbon respiration. At the 45- to 55-cm layer, increased methanogenesis potential was observed, which corresponded with a 3-fold increase in abundance of a single archaeal clade of the Methanosarcinales order, increased annual thaw duration (45.3 vs. 79.3 days), and increased CH 4 emissions. Collectively, these data demonstrate that the microbial responses to warming in tundra soil are rapid and markedly different between the 2 critical soil layers evaluated, and identify potential biomarkers for the corresponding microbial processes that could be important in modeling.},
doi = {10.1073/pnas.1901307116},
journal = {Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America},
number = 30,
volume = 116,
place = {United States},
year = {2019},
month = {7}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
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DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1901307116

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